English Seminar Capstone Research Papers

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Capstone Project

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“Stephen Chbosky saved lives. No, not in the saving-a-cat-from-a-burning-building way nor performing the Heimlich on a little old lady at a restaurant. He saved lives by writing a peculiar little green book” (Aquino). The Perks of Being a Wallflower has become a phenomenon among adolescents in contemporary America. Passed on through recommendations for over 15 years, Charlie’s story has administered a sense of hope to the young people who read his letters. They say they relate to Charlie, that he makes them feel understood. For some, his story has saved their lives; at least two people have written to Chbosky to tell him that they gave up attempting suicide after they read his novel (Beckman). Several journalists have questioned Chbosky about his perspective on the book’s impact on his readers. He has replied with amazement, “‘It’s everything at once….It’s bizarre that a book would be that final barrier between life and death’” (qtd. in Beckman).


Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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